It is safe to say that the winter holidays are amongst my favorite. Like most people, I revel in the fact that people are kinder, far more considerate, and appreciative at this time of year. These acts of goodwill are infectious and if you have to “catch” anything at this time of year, I’m glad to have caught this bug.
Parking lots are full of cars going every which way but I take a deep breath, remind myself that I am lucky to have my wits about me in order to navigate in this chaotic time. As I walk along the paths of the outdoor markets filled with hundreds of people I take in the blueness of the sky in all of its glory, breathe in the rare cool air that this time of year eventually brings, and smile as I watch people calm their tired children. If I’m lucky I can catch someone’s eye and make their day brighter, reminding them of how lucky we are to have money to buy the things we want. A smile goes a long way in my book. I chat up the cashiers, asking them how their day is going, knowing that the holidays bring many exhausting days. These small conversations are my way of showing my appreciation for all that they do.
Finally, I think of my family that I have come to appreciate even more now that we are all apart (a new concept for us), and how thankful I am that we are able to be together. This year was particularly special because two of our holidays–Thanksgiving and Hanukkah–coincided for the first and last time for hundreds of years. Waking up under the same roof as my entire family on Thanksgiving, dog included, reassured me that no matter where we are all at we will always have a place in which to come home. My mom has her own home, and for the first time in six years, we all know where we will be each year. During this time of extreme change in all of our lives it is comforting to know that some things will stay the same.